PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Today, June 1st, is the start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
The season lasts for six months, ending November 30th.
The bulk of activity occurs from August 1st to October 31st.
This year’s official forecast for the Atlantic calls for another active season with a 60 percent chance for an above average active season.
The chance for a near normal season stands at 30 percent with just a 10 percent chance for a below normal season.
Now that we have all the forecast details out of the way let’s talk about what you want to know.
Is a hurricane going to impact your trip to the beach? Well, you won’t be impacted THIS weekend.
The tools to make an accurate forecast beyond that really don’t exist yet.
What we do have is years of data on where the most likely places for landfalling storms have occurred in the past.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina are some of the places hit the most often, averaging a hurricane landfalling near them every five to seven years.
Southern parts of Florida also average a hurricane impacting them every five to seven years.
Most other places along the Atlantic coastline average a storm impacting their coast every eight to ten years.
If you’re thinking about heading to Ocean City, Maryland or New Jersey for your beach vacation, I have good news as those communities average a named storm only one every fifteen to twenty years!
As with any year there are small changes to how we do things.
This year, the change is a big one with us no longer going to the Greek alphabet once the list of twenty-one names is used.
Instead, they now have a supplemental list of names that they will be able to go to. Why the change?
Forecasters felt that the notoriety of the Greek alphabet names takes away from the focus on sustaining life and keeping the loss of life and property damage at a minimum.
Finally, did you know that hurricane names are repeated every six years and the list does not change?
OK, so the names do change but only after a storm is retired due to how strong and powerful the storm is.
So the last time this list of names was used was in 2015, and in that year we had two storm names retired (Erika, Joaquin).
That means we get the possibility of two first time names being used this year with Elsa (joining her ‘sister’ Ana) and Julian.
P.S. Storms don’t have genders.
So, when it comes to what pronoun to use when describing perhaps Ana or Elsa they’re an ‘it’ and not a ‘she.’